Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I don’t know about you, but 2014 was a DOOZY for me. I couldn’t wait for it to end; in fact, after I finished doing grades for the fall semester at Berklee College of Music I spent a lot of time sleeping. Who could blame me? I had a crazy semester and a crazy year. I also have two really adorable cats (Euclid and Spackle) that love naps and are almost like dogs in that they love to cuddle.


Well, 2015 is here and I am loving it. So far I have all of this renewed energy, and I’m playing lots of music and getting things done. I’m even back to my teenage hobby of counted cross stitch, though now, instead of making needlepoint pictures of flowers, I stitch things like replicas of 1980s Van Halen.


Every year I choose three words that I would like to guide the year. This way, I can’t really break my resolutions; there aren’t any to break. After thinking about it a long time, I chose these:

– Spending more time with friends and family.
– Sharing my music with the community at large.
– Creating programming that makes a positive difference for others.
– Working on one thing at a time
– Finish all of those projects I start instead of doing them halfway
– Not being afraid to work on that one thing for a very long time if that’s what it takes
– Not being afraid to go back to a project and finish what I started (which may have been AGES ago).
– To myself
– To others, including YOU!
– To Community and Completion

Maybe I made New Year’s Day mean more than I ought to, but whatever I did, so far it’s working (and we’re 23 days in). I also convinced myself that even if it’s a bad day, tomorrow is a new day and I can start all over. It feels great!

What does that mean for you? Do you have three words that you would like 2015 to be about? It’s a fun little exercise and a lot less daunting than the usual, “I will do this and this and this and this…” that so many of us do every year. For me anyway, that’s such a setup for disappointment.

There will be more music this year to be sure. I have a CD I’m shopping for a label (yes it sounds very 20th century but I’m doing it anyway), I’m writing more music to Pirkei Avot verses, and I’m going into the studio to record my original compositions inspired by my love of Formula One racing. There’s also a project I’m doing with Joe Fiedler on trombone that performs the music of Attila Zoller and Albert Mangelsdorff as well as some original music, and we’re having a great time with that.

As the great Billy Strayhorn would say, “Onwards and Upwards!”

And as Rabbi Rami Shapiro writes in his modern interpretation of the Pirkei Avot, Chapter 1 Verse 3:

Live Without Hesitation.
Dwell not on outcome or reward.
Act with full attention.

4 Responses to “Happy New Year!”

  1. Noah January 26, 2015 at 10:31 am #

    I forgot to come up with 3 words this year (unless “uh, crumb cake?” counts). But I enthusiastically approve of yours 🙂

    • Amanda Monaco January 26, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

      Thanks, Noah!
      Yummy – I love crumb cake. Go with it.

  2. Angela P. January 28, 2015 at 9:24 am #

    Heya old friend. I love your idea.. thought of you when I ordered girl scout cookies this year.

    Here are my three words.. Appreciation, forgiveness and dreams.

    Motherhood of a 7 year old and 9 month old keeps me so busy that I sometimes forget to appreciate the simple things. Like when my son writes music or my daughter randomly laughs. Little things matter even if they make no sense to me.

    Forgiveness – on so many levels mostly to myself for not always being the person I want to be despite my intentions.

    Dreams – when we were kids we used to have so many dreams. Somewhere along the way I think I just stopped dreaming ..goes hand in hand with appreciation and forgiveness.

    Thanks for the blog post and reminding me of things. Wishing you all the best this year as always. Hope to see you play in CT sometime.

    – Ang

    • Amanda Monaco January 28, 2015 at 10:23 am #

      I love it, Ang! It’s never too late to start dreaming again…we need it! Sending you big hugs. – Mandy